At the risk of becoming ridiculous, I’m about to write my third post about FÜD (check out the first two posts here and here), an all-vegan restaurant in Kansas City. Whenever I eat there what amazes me is that Kansas City has lucked out so completely, because FÜD could do gangbusters in Silverlake or Santa Monica. A gem like this in the Midwest? Fantastic.
FÜD has a good mixture of both cooked and raw food, juices, mouthwatering shakes, and an explosion of interesting jackfruit-based entrees. Their creative cuisine is fun and experimental, and it matches their cool, casual vibe. The walls are painted in bright colors with striped wallpaper and tall ceilings. They do a lot with their small space, which is bright and cheerful. When the menu arrives, I’m struck instantly with two thoughts. The first is that I want to try everything on the menu – start to finish. The second is the complete contradiction of that, because I want to gravitate to my favorites and enjoy them all over again. These are delicious problems, my friends, because everything I’ve had at FÜD has been great.
First we hit FÜD for an early lunch. We whetted our appetites with their starter-sized nachos. We’ve learned from the past that their regular nachos are easily enough to satisfy four nacho-loving friends, and so we went with this (still very generously sized) smaller portion. The beautifully plated nachos had me scrambling to get a scoop that included everything in one bite – crunchy purple cabbage, rich goji cheddar, guacamole, lemony sour cream, and fresh pico de gallo. (The larger size also comes with jackfruit-based or grain-based topping.)
For the main meal, I ordered the Tex Mex Chk’n Wrap. I love the unusual spices for this jackfruit-based wrap. They are mild and warming, perhaps more Thanksgiving in tone than Tex Mex might suggest. The jackfruit has a mild, savory quality that doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors of cashew cheddar, peppers, onions, corn, pico de gallo, guacamole, and lemony sour cream. The whole thing marries beautifully in flavor with a mixture of textures – crunchy corn and creamy sauces on a pillowy tortilla.
David ordered his favorite, their Jack Phish tacos with a side salad. In this taco jackfruit is marinated with Mexican spices and then stuffed in a corn shell with cashew cheddar cheese, cashew sour cream, guacamole, and pico de gallo. The shell gives a satisfying crunch to this savory-meets-creamy dish. Each mouthful is a burst of flavor.
FÜD is closed on Sundays (and Mondays too by the way), and since we needed a second go at their menu, we eagerly returned that night for dinner. They don’t have their liquor license, and so you can’t order a glass of wine with dinner. However, they do allow you to bring in your own bottle of wine with no corkage fee, which you can open and pour yourself. (They provide glasses and a wine bottle opener.) Since it was a continuing celebration of my birthday, we made good use of that.
We started dinner with an appetizer of tofu nuggets. The little squares of fried nuggets come with their own house dipping sauce. You can choose which kind of tofu you’d like (all from local tofu-makers, Central Soy Foods, which I’ve written about here). They have plain, hickory-smoked*, or hot fiesta. We opted for the hot fiesta, which had flecks of peppers and spices in each bite.
For dinner, I couldn’t resist revisiting their reuben sandwich. I tried it last year and really liked it, but this time… It was absolutely amazing. It’s definitely bumping one of the competitors off of my top-five list. This sandwich was perfect with seasoned, tangy jackfruit, rich cashew sauces, and a layer of salty, crisp sauerkraut. The sandwich was then grilled, which kept it one compact, crisp unit, only to be cracked open with creamy cashew cheese. It was the kind of sandwich which quiets all conversation. Can’t. Think. About. Anything. But. This. Reuben.
David ordered one of their specials, which included jackfruit on a bed of braised kale with zucchini, bell peppers and onions, and doused in a spicy sauce on a tortilla. I think he told me something about the wrap but I couldn’t hear it underneath the sounds of my mmm’s.
At this rate, FÜD is becoming one of my very favorite restaurants, not just in Kansas City or the Midwest but period. Their decadent comfort food is a real treat and something unique indeed.
*I’m a fiend for smoky flavors, and so I bought a package of Central Soy Foods’ hickory smoked tofu on the way out of town at Green Acres Market. I so wish their tofu was available outside of Kansas & Missouri. The smoked tofu is firm and flavorful on its own, right out of the package, and sliced into salads or sandwiches. (I imagine it would make for a fantastic tofu salad sandwich, crumbled and tossed with Vegenaise horseradish sauce, celery, and onion.) The outer edges of the tofu get more of the hickory flavor, and so I baked it in my easy lemon baked tofu marinade for additional oomph.